To those who gave birth this year to their first child, we celebrate with you.
To those who lost a child this year, we mourn with you.
To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains, we appreciate you.
To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions or running away, we mourn with you.
To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears and disappointment, we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make things harder.
To those who are foster moms, mentor moms and spiritual moms, we need you.
To those who have warm and close relationships with your children, we celebrate with you.
To those who hope to one day have children, we hope with you.
To those who have disappointment, heartache and distance with your children, we sit with you.
To those who are married and want children but find your husband in disagreement, our hearts break with you.
To those who lost their mothers this year, we grieve with you.
To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother, we acknowledge your experience.
To those who are single and mother alone, we commend you for your strength.
To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests and the overall testing of motherhood, we are better for having you in our midst.
To those who have aborted children, we remember them and you on this day.
To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children, we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be.
To those who fear what lies ahead in becoming and being a mother, we journey with you.
To those who stepparent, we walk with you on these complex paths.
To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren, yet that dream is not to be, we grieve with you.
To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year, we grieve and rejoice with you.
To those who placed children for adoption, we commend you for your selflessness and remember how you hold that child in your heart.
And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising, we anticipate with you.
Many women in our lives are not nor will never be mothers — either because life dealt them a hand they did not want or perhaps they do not feel called to have children. Those women have no less value; they are still equally cherished by God.
Mothering is more than being a mother. Our societies and our churches are filled with nurturing, encouraging and strong women, whether they are mothers, teachers, neighbors, leaders or any woman who would take us under their wing.
So whether you identify as a mother or not. We seek to validate and encourage all of you, whether married or single, mother or childless, as we continue the journey together. Have a blessed day.